Bhutan, Himalaya – 10 day mahseer itinerary
An unforgettable fishing and cultural adventure
The tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayan Mountain range has only been open to visitors since 1974 and retains an alluring mystique. Its less than a million inhabitants live amid snow-capped mountains and temple studded valleys. Happily for the angler, it’s rivers and streams are home to over 100 indigenous fish. Among these are game species like the golden mahseer, chocolate mahseer, snow trout and brown trout.
Incredible expedition for adventurous anglers
Over the course of 10 days, adventurous fishermen have a wonderful opportunity to combine ancient culture with an exciting fishing experience. On arrival at the international airport at Paro, anglers are transferred to comfortable, private accommodation. After settling in there is the chance to hike to the breath-taking Tiger’s Nest Monastery, a famous Buddhist temple which clings to a vertiginous cliff in the upper Paro valley. It’s quite a climb, but the effort taken to get to Bhutan’s most majestic site is well worth it. On day two, anglers are transferred to Punakha over the 10,000 foot Dochula Pass and visit the famous Punakha Dzong. This beautiful monastery is one of the country’s largest, oldest, and most striking fortified buildings and with its river front setting is exquisitely beautiful. Days three heralds the start of the fishing expedition which comprises a six day/five night float trip down one of the world’s most beautiful mahseer rivers.
Golden mahseer and their cousins, the chocolate mahseer, are unrivalled in the world of river fish and famous for their incredible power and tendency to take fishermen deep into their backing. Golden mahseer are found only in the Himalayas and offer the adventurous angler a rare treat. They have been recorded to tip the scales at over 100lb and specimens in the 20 to 50lb are encountered today. Standard one and two-handed fly rods, using swinging techniques similar to steelhead fishing are most commonly used to catch mahseer. Since mahseer are omnivorous, dry fly opportunities for these aggressive feeders can also result in bent rods and screaming reels.
Anglers return to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city on the evening of day eight. Day nine is sent exploring the markets and hot spots of the kingdom’s capital in preparation for a morning departure on day 10.
Accommodation ranges from ultra-modern tent camps on white sand beaches to the finest lodgings in the kingdom complete with spa and massage treatments.
Exquisite scenery and wildlife
Surrounded by Indian to the south, Tibet to the north and Nepal to the east, Bhutan is a land-locked country approximately 200 miles wide west to east, and 90 miles wide, north to south. Rising from 377 feet above sea level in its southern most region Bhutan’s highest peak, Jomolhari is 25,000 above Over the course of this relatively small landmass, Bhutan offers 11 of the world’s 13 temperate climate zones and is 60% forest. Along with hundreds of bird species, there are large mammals such as the Asian elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, Himalayan black bear, blue sheep and snow leopard.